Heard vs. Depp: the takeaways after the verdict?
In the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial, the jury has found Heard liable on all three of the claims against her and Depp liable on one of her three charges against him. Journalists are above all concerned about the fact that the online community clearly positioned itself against Heard.
Gut feelings dominate
When public perceptions of a court case are dominated by the social media it poses a major problem for the judiciary, the Süddeutsche Zeitung comments:
“By now anyone who watched the whole trial and then saw how it was framed online will understand how Donald Trump was able to become US president - and could do so again. The way facts were twisted online and clueless people became prominent experts on their YouTube channels, securing hundreds of thousands of viewers who believed everything they said, was grotesque. ... And this complete distortion took place even though the trial was being broadcast live on television, and every detail could be verified. Nevertheless gut feelings, and not reality, dominated public opinion.”
A radical attack on MeToo
El País is shocked at how the trial has promoted misogyny:
“Beyond absolute respect for the verdict, what is revealing about the trial is the explosion of hatred against the actress - especially on social networks - which reveals a second, hidden judgment that goes beyond the two celebrities: a furious attack against the MeToo movement. ... Alongside the old digital anti-feminism, the virulent reaction against Heard shows what is really going on here: the instrumentalization of a judgment as a repudiation of everything MeToo stood for, its fight against hate speech, misogyny and the curtailment of women's freedoms.”